Chris Dunn welcomed, on behalf of Southern California USA Softball and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), the participants to U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup 2019 saying that they will bring home “amazing experiences, stories”.
The Head Coaches and players of the 16 participating National Team attending the presentation of the tournament in Irvine, California, greeted the statement with applause.
Tommy Velazquez, WBSC Softball Division Chairman, said “it is a privilege” to witness a tournament that involves the best U-19 players in the world and thanked USA Softball and the LOC.
“Fields look great,” said Velazquez “and your hospitality made everybody feel like at home.”
The U-19 Softball World Cup will take off with two games later today, Saturday 10 August: USA-Mexico in group A and Puerto Rico-Brasil in group C. Both games will be played at 8 pm local time (US Pacific Coast, i.e. Greenwich Meridian Time + 8 hours). The games will be preceded by the Opening Ceremony, set to begin at 6.30 pm.
The two-time defending World Champions USA are once again the favourites and head coach Heather Tarr sounds pretty aware of the burden, as she mentions “tremendous pride” as the leader of a group that aims to “a gold medal”.
Mexico will contend a spot in the super round to the Czech Republic. Head Coach Petr Mindzak said that his team has the goal to make the super round.
Puerto Rico will contend first place in group C to China, the only National Team that could stop the dominance by the USA and Japan in 1985.
Brazil (“We are well prepared,” said head coach Marcelo Missaki) and Ireland (“not here just to take part,” according to head coach Melanie Cunningham) will try to make group play interesting.
The USA won the U-19 Women’s Softball World title six times, but Japan is second with five. Head coach Yosuke Sato was pretty straight forward: “We play to win also practice games”.
Starting Sunday, 11 August, Japan will face in group B Australia. The European Champions Italy, through head coach Enrico Obletter, said that the goal is “showing the world we can play softball”.
South Africa’s head coach Hayley Scott added that the team has been “developing for the last four years”.
Canada looks like the team to beat in group D. Head coach Keith Mackintosh said his team is “playing for a medal”.
He shares a goal with Hsin Lin Han, the head coach of Chinese Taipei: “We are ready. We need first to advance to the second round, but our goal is to finish amongst the top four.”
The wild card the Netherlands and New Zealand complete the group.
It’s time to get ready for the “amazing experiences, stories” of the U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup.